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March 21, 2023

Theodor Stolojan: “How did PNL lose 1.1 million votes between local and parliamentary elections?”

Former President of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Theodor Stolojan posted on Facebook an analysis of the mistakes that cost the Liberals almost 1.1 million votes, stating that PNL made a number of major mistakes, and that a political and elections structure from the bottom up is necessary to be established inside the party.

Liberal MEP Theodor Stolojan offers a possible answer to the question: “How did PNL lose 1.1 million votes between local and parliamentary elections?” in a post on Facebook in which he analyzes the efficiency of the political opponents – PSD, and “PNL’s major mistakes”.

“PSD was efficient in the campaign on three major subjects, on which PNL didn’t find an adequate answer: it resurrected the nationalist message ‘we don’t sell our country’, it promoted the idea that the Ciolos Government is the Government with ‘zero’ results and it associated this Government with PNL, and it created the perception that Justice acts at political orders, a message that was especially given by its intermediaries from the media”, Theodor Stolojan claims.

“PNL has made a number of major mistakes that led to the loss of many people’s trust in the party”, states the former PNL President.

Stolojan reminds that some of the mistakes made by the Liberals are “presenting a government program with changes made in the electoral campaign, which led to the perception of improvisation, in contrast to the PSD program which was analytical and constant”, promoting campaign messages with “misjudgments that are not allowed”, as, for instance, the one containing the word “pogrom” and that had to be withdrawn immediately after the launch.

Another mistake that made PNL lose votes was that “PNL assumed a candidate for the PM position, who gave a clear message that he assumes this candidacy supported by PNL only in the last days”, according to Stolojan.

The former party leader also includes in the list of the mistakes made by PNL the slow passing from the dual leadership at the level of the party’s organizations “resulted after the PNL-PDL merger) to their unique leadership, a large number of political positions in the organizations being kept (first vice presidents, vice presidents without clear attributions, which led to their demonetization)”.

“Instead of focusing on the government program, there was a focusing on who’s the best in the party”, Stolojan also says.

The MEP also criticized the “transfiguration” of the candidates for the Parliament.

“(…) although it was basically a positive thing, the time was too short to allow it to be assimilated by the party members, and in particular to be perceived and appreciated by voters. In certain cases, some of the organizations had the feeling that the practice of ‘parachuting’ unknown candidates ‘from the center’ is back, and this demobilized those organizations in the campaign” Stolojan argues.

In his opinion, Liberals were wrong by renouncing to the important members.

“In the campaign, the participation of some party leaders as message carriers was left aside, although they didn’t have any integrity problem and they had good results in the local elections, for the simple reason that they were ‘old’ in the party. For instance, in the case of the rally held in Iasi, such a PNL leader who was coming to Iasi, was told that he will not have the opportunity to present his message to the rostrum anymore”, Theodor Stolojan relates.

The MEP claims that the restrictions imposed by the electoral law had a negative impact for the PNL voters.

Theodor Stolojan says that to regain the trust of its own party members and of the people, a new political and organizational structure of PNL has to be established.

“For instance, political positions (vice presidents) should be created only to assume concrete responsibilities in fulfilling the party’s strategic directions and objectives (such as, for example, the party’s ability to generate ideas and programs for Romania’s development and for a higher life standard of the people; developing party’s human resource, etc.)”, says the Liberal.

Another measure that PNL has to take is to organize free and fair elections, at the level of all the party’s organizations, from bottom up. PNL also has to perform a ‘constructive, firm and professional’ opposition and to renounce to ‘those current or former leaders for which they and work are two parallel lines”.

“And, of course, a lot of work; having direct contact with people again, in villages, in communes, cities and municipalities” Stolojan concludes in the analysis posted on Facebook.

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